Oblique messages from the past

I was wandering through a cemetery when I spotted this little gem.  Three words, “More Than Conquerors,” sitting all by themselves on a stone.  On the surface, it seems very martial in tone, but I realized it was taken from one of the hymns we used to sing during our church services — Thine is the Glory.  Perhaps you grew up singing that one as well.

The last verse goes like this:

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. 

The lyrics were written by Edmond Budry (1854-1932), and clearly, if you see the entire verse, the “conquerors” part is about defeating death.  That may or may not be clear to the visitor who sees the stone if they don’t know the hymn, though I suspect everyone in this person’s family, their friends, and their acquaintances, knew it.

Currently, we sing an updated version in our church.  Lyrics that sound like the church is advocating conquest have been edited out. The words now are:

Am I still frightened? One whom I adore,
Jesus, lives again, gives peace forevermore.

Jesus is my victory, life and strength and head;
Jesus is my glory, nothing shall I dread.

In the future, will it be obvious to anyone where these three words came from?  I wonder.

IMG_1877a